Sheep marts: Butcher and factory-type lambs see an improved trade all round

Speaking to mart managers over the past week, the trade for all types of lambs, especially butcher and factory-fit types, has been strong.

The improved trade – for finished lambs – seems to be coming off the back of a surge in factory prices late last week, which has seen meat processing plants increase quotes for lambs by between 10c/kg and 15c/kg.

Butcher-type lamb prices, last week, were ranging between €115/head up to as much as €129.50/head, which is a sharp increase from the week before. Factory-fit lambs were making anywhere from €104/head up to €120/head.

Also Read: Pics and prices: Small sale of sheep sees a strong trade all round at Loughrea Mart

A strong trade for store lambs was also reported, with forward-type lambs selling from €95/head up to €106/head, while lighter store lambs, weighing from 26kg up to 38kg, made from €68/head up to €95/head.

Similar to the previous week, heavy ewes made from €110/head up to €130/head, with some lots exceeding this price range in places, while feeding and more forward-type ewes made from €60/head up to €100/head.

A number of mart managers reported that a selection of breeding ewes and ewe hoggets were presented for sale. Breeding ewes, which consisted of two, three and four-year-old ewes, made up to €130/head, while ewe hogget prices ranged from €130/head up to €183/head.

Baltinglass Mart

A larger entry of sheep were presented for sale at Baltinglass Mart on Saturday, July 4, compared to the previous week.

According to the mart manager, Tom Coleman, store lamb prices were up €5/head, while factory and butcher-type lambs were stronger by €1-3/head compared to the previous sale.

Butcher lambs made up to €117/head on the day, while factory-fit lambs made up to €115/head. Store lamb prices ranged from €68/head up to €92/head.

A selection of ewe hoggets were presented for sale on the day, with these lots making from €115/head up to €145/head.

Furthermore, two, three and four-year-old breeding ewes made up to €130/head, while cast ewes, both store and heavy-types, sold from €60/head up to €110/head.

Sample lamb prices:

  • 10 lambs weighing 48.5kg sold for €117/head;
  • 11 lambs weighing 45kg sold for €115/head;
  • 10 lambs weighing 44kg sold for €111/head;
  • 24 lambs weighing 43kg sold for €105/head;
  • 11 lambs weighing 40kg sold for €100/head;
  • Seven lambs weighing 41kg sold for €98/head;
  • Three lambs weighing 40kg sold for €96/head;
  • 10 lambs weighing 37kg sold for €92/head;
  • Three lambs weighing 35kg sold for €82/head;
  • 11 lambs weighing 26kg sold for €68/head.

Dowra Mart

Over 1,300 factory and store lambs were on offer at Dowra Mart on Friday last, July 3, which saw over 1,600 sheep sold, in total.

Butcher and factory-type lambs were in strong demand, according to the mart manager, Terry McGovern, with prices for these lots ranging between €105/head and €129.50/head. Store lambs made from €75/head up to €100/head.

Breeding ewe hoggets made from €130/head up to €183/head. Terry also noted that cast ewes were a stronger trade compared to the previous week, with prices for these lots ranging from €85/head up to €130/head.

Sample lamb prices: 

  • 12 lambs weighing 45kg sold for €129.50/head;
  • Seven lambs weighing 50kg sold for €125.50/head;
  • 20 lambs weighing 48kg sold for €124/head;
  • 18 lambs weighing 44kg sold for €119.50/head;
  • 16 lambs weighing 43kg sold for €118/head;
  • 26 lambs weighing 43.5kg sold for €115.50/head;
  • 11 lambs weighing 40kg sold for €105/head;
  • 22 lambs weighing 38.5kg sold for €95/head;
  • Six lambs weighing 31.5kg sold for €89/head;
  • 20 lambs weighing 35kg sold for €87/head.

Enniscorthy Mart

Over 500 sheep were on offer at Enniscorthy Mart on Wednesday last, July 1. According to the assistant mart manager, Kevin Murphy, the trade for all types of lambs was ‘much improved’, especially for ‘finished lambs’, with prices for these lots better by €5-9/head in places.

Butcher lambs made from €119/head up to a top price of €125/head. Factory-fit lambs made anywhere from €104/head right up to €119/head.

According to Kevin, there was a much larger entry of store lambs last week, with approximately 300 stores on offer. These lots were met with a ‘very strong demand from farmers’. Forward store prices ranged from €89/head up to €108/head. Lighter store lamb prices ranged from €70/head up to €86/head.

Cast ewes were ‘very scarce on the day’, with heavy ewes making from €103/head up to €124/head, while store ewes sold from €82/head up to €90/head.

Sample butcher and factory-fit lamb prices: 

  • 14 lambs weighing 54kg sold for €125/head;
  • 18 lambs weighing 49kg sold for €119/head;
  • 10 lambs weighing 47kg sold for €120/head;
  • Six lambs weighing 50kg sold for €122/head;
  • Eight lambs weighing 41kg sold for €119/head;
  • Five lambs weighing 43kg sold for €114/head;
  • Seven lambs weighing 43kg sold for €109/head.

Store lamb prices: 

  • 10 lambs weighing 39kg sold for €98/head;
  • Three lambs weighing 40kg sold for €98/head;
  • Two lambs weighing 40kg sold for €106/head;
  • 30 lambs weighing 35kg sold for €81/head;
  • 25 lambs weighing 33kg sold for €84/head;
  • 27 lambs weighing 32kg sold for €80/head;
  • Two lambs weighing 28kg sold for €71/head.